A Magnificent Missionary Partnership Team!
We are so excited to have an excellent band of brothers & sisters committed to being a part of God’s great work among the peoples of North East India (NEI)! Our Missionary Partnership Team (MPT) members met each other for the first time June 19th at our home church,Central Baptist Church in Springfield, IL. As we gathered., Pastor, Rev. Dr. Reg Mills welcomed and committed the team’s service together in prayer.
God is so gracious to bring diverse individuals together and create a team, a unit bonded by His Spirit and passion for mission. The team members have each offered their volunteer service to promote and enable our ministry in North East India. These individuals, who hail from various churches and locations in Illinois and beyond, have dedicated their time, talents and energy to minister with us and on our behalf.
Rev. Dr. Joseph Huse has taken the lead as our Convener. He not only brings to the team his vision for mission, but an understanding of the ministry in North East India. We were blessed to minister together when he accompanied Taku & I to NEI in 2007. He has first-hand knowledge of the unique conditions, needs and opportunities for ministry through his experience traveling in the region, teaching and interacting with many different people groups. We are grateful for his commitment and know that his adept leadership & administrative skills, combined with his years of experience in varied roles in ministry, will bless all the MPT members. Joseph’s home is Flora, Indiana, but he is presently serving as Interim Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Kansas City, MO.
We are thrilled to have a member who actually enjoys & wants to do the nitty-gritty of maintaining communications data base! Barbara McKean, of Central Baptist Church, Springfield, has volunteered to take on this responsibility. While we are all ‘rookies’ at this MPT adventure, she is a seasoned participant, having previously served on another missionary’s MPT. We all appreciate the experience and expertise she shares with us.
Also from Central Baptist Church, Rev. J.R. Heikes joins us in service. A retired minister, he has years of ministry experience in both Iowa and Illinois. His involvement in varied roles in Regional Ministry equips him to offer wise advise and insight as we share our vision and develop relationships with churches. We are glad to have J.R. on the team. He has had a significant role in Katie’s ministry development as he was a member of her ordination committee.
Aonther member of the team is a long-time friend of Katie’s, dating back to college days. Meme Thorpe, (Pawnee, IL) has been a faithful supporter and friend to our family throughout our years of ministry. She identifies herself as our “cheerleader” and energizes the team with her enthusiasm. Her creativity coupled with her energy taking on projects, propels us along the journey toward our goal!
Many years ago our hearts bonded with Karen Ballard, when we met while sharing about our ministry at the First Baptist Church, Rantoul, IL. She has become a dear friend, faithful prayer partner and supporter. She & Katie share a passion in worship that further melds that bond. Karen will be heading up our prayer support network and getting our praises & needs out to our network.
Our team is rounded out with the participation of Jeff & Marilee Stephan. This wonderful couple is from First Baptist Church, Farmington, where Taku is serving. Jeff is the Moderator and Marilee the Organist. Both Jeff & Marilee are a great support and are ever ready to take on any task at hand. Recently Jeff stapled 600 business cards to tea bags for distribution on our display tables. These two ‘work as unto the Lord’, bringing excellence to each endeavor. Their servants heart and loving service ministers to all the team and makes the way for our ministry.
You may be hearing from some of these great folks as we move forward in communicating and requesting financial support for the ministry God has called us to in North East India. We need you! Our goal and hope is to have our support raised and be able to be commissioned and deployed one year from now, summer 2011.
If you would like to give to our ministry you can do so on this website. If you would like to become part of our network and receive notices of our news and prayer requests you can signify that as well.
More news to come soon…..actually, lots is happening & I’ll catch up with my reporting!
May God bless you as you share His heart for mission.